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(Navigating the Decline of My Mom – Story #2)

I wake up this morning and am lucid dreaming. In the dream, I feel frustrated and angry, similar to how I feel about my mom’s health decline and impending death. I had wanted to have a temper tantrum at dance church a couple of weeks ago, but held back because I didn’t want to disturb the other dancers.

During a phone healing session later in the day, I share about my dream. The healer and I work through issues related to me feeling safe using my voice to express myself. At the end of the session, she suggests I get support to express my rage. She also recommends that I go into nature to do this anger release work.

I am staying at a friend’s house where I am surrounded by two acres of trees, water, flowers, bushes. It’s like a jungle. There is green everywhere I look. Plus, there is a year-round waterfall and creek which feeds into a large pond.

After my call with the healer, I decide to go outside and stand near the waterfall. I take my shoes off and feel the coolness of the earth underneath my feet. I take in the sound of the running water and my body relaxes. Then I walk along the creek to the pond and stand near a large tree. My body begins to shake and tremble. I wonder, Is NOW the time for me to do my anger release work? I have total privacy. It’s the perfect place. 

I walk back inside the house and begin moving my body. I allow myself to scream and make whatever sounds want to come out of my mouth…roars, cries, wails, groans. Whatever wants to be expressed through my body is also allowed full permission. I flail my arms and stomp my feet as I walk in circles around the room.

As the anger begins to move and release, tears arise and then deep sobs. I kneel to the floor and put my hands on my belly. It feels like the anger and grief want to come out of my gut. When I imagine my mom’s death and her being gone from her body, this world and my life, it is gut-wrenching pain. I open my mouth and motion like I am vomiting my pain. At the same time, I see an image. The energetic umbilical cord between my mom and I is being severed. I am reminded of the pain my mother went through when she gave birth to me.

When the sobs subside, I find my body wants to move again. I get up and walk around the room. I feel lighter, freer. I stop to look out the window and see two large magnolia trees. The branches have grown into each other. One has white flowers, the other deep pink. I stare at one of the pink flowers and burst into tears. I can’t believe how beautiful it is. My body vibrates. I feel completely present, awake and alive; penetrated by the beauty.

The next morning, while standing in the kitchen, I am aware of my feet being firmly planted on the ground. It’s like they are encased in cement blocks. I then sit in meditation and notice a powerful channel of energy running through me. I feel calm and centered, at peace. I am in awe of the aliveness just on the other side of my anger.

Having moved through more of my grief and anger, I am better prepared for the news my mom shares with me when I visit her the following week.

“I have two months to live.”


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Karen Mehringer, MA, MFT - Grief support, counseling and life coaching in Santa Cruz area.